A very good scarce pattern gilt brass aneroid pocket barometer altimeter compendium with numbered Singer’s Patent compass and thermometer c1866
Pocket barometer having 1⅞” silvered and engraved dial, bezel driven altitude scale calibrated in feet with a range from 0 – 6,000ft and divided down to 100ft, inner barometric scale calibrated in inches of mercury with a range from 25” – 31” and finely divided to 1/50th”. The upper part with standard meteorological terms, the lower signed “M. Pillischer, London.” Blued steel pointer, bevelled glass. The conventional movement driven from a 1” capsule and tensioned on a C spring.
The verso with inset Singer’s Patent compass no. 18759, standard Singer’s pattern mother of pearl floating dry card with cardinals and intercardinals, north indicated by Singer lyre and star, compass lock, bevelled glass. Semi-circular thermometer set on a silvered register calibrated in degrees Fahrenheit from 20° – 120°. All contained within a gilt brass drum-form case, engine turned bezel and and belled finisher.
Presented in its original oxblood leather over timber, dark blue satin and velvet doublesided case, the lid silks marked in gold block with Royal Warrant cypher surrounded by “Pillischer, Optician, 88 New Bond Street.” Snap closure on a button release.
Condition: The subject of a full service, conservation, and calibration under laboratory conditions. The barometer working well with excellent transition, easily acceptable resolution across the standard range, diverging though at lower pressures, see performance chart. This is normal for many antique instruments. The barometer dial with very slight ageing, otherwise crisp and vibrant, very slight marks to dial centre, the bezel and altitude scale rotating smoothly with correct resistance. The gilt brass finish with slight losses, minor marks and oxidation.
The compass swinging freely and easily finding north, compass lock working correctly with positive lock up. The thermometer with unbroken strand and reading correctly.
The leather case in very good condition with excellent shine and original glaze. The fabric interiors with some marks from the instrument, otherwise clean and vibrant. The snap buttons replaced together with a small piece of leather over.
Comments: As compendia of this type go, this is a very unusual and specifically high quality instrument. Pillischer sold some of the highest quality items found at the time, and it is easy to see why this would be included. The brass case design is unusual and, though a detail, this does set it apart from most others, the gilt finish serving as a further enhancement. It is also slightly smaller than most of the later double-sided compendia.
The presence of a numbered Singer’s Patent compass greatly enhances the collectable status of this instrument. Numbered compasses are really quite rare, and it also helps date the instrument to c1866, as Singer’s patent lapsed in 1868, and no more than 26,000 or so numbered compasses were made before this date.
Of the many compendia I have been able to properly examine, this one stands out in many ways but principally for its undoubted quality in materials, craftsmanship and lovely aesthetics.
Very much a collector’s piece.
Moritz Pillischer worked from 88 New Bond Street, London, from 1854-1888. The firm exhibited at the Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace in 1851 and won a medal.
Dimensions: 2⅜" wide x 1½" high x 2¾" deep
Stock No: CP2213